Over the next several months, Alain Baumann will be hosting a series of Questions & Answer sessions with World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) leaders. Today we hear the thoughts and opinions of newly-elected board member Barbara Konkle, MD (U.S.A).
How did you get involved with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH)?
My first involvement was when I started attending WFH World Congresses and was consistently impressed with the quality of the science and medical information. Later I had the opportunity to participate in an International Hemophilia Training Centre (IHTC) and in the WFH Twinning Program.
Why did you decide to run to become a member of the WFH board?
As I started thinking about doing more volunteer work, I asked myself how I would like to spend that time, and the WFH immediately came to mind. I greatly respect the organization and its mission of “Treatment for All.” My career has been committed to patients with bleeding disorders and I felt I could bring my knowledge and experience to the organization and help make a difference.
What makes you proud to have been elected to the WFH board?
I am proud to have been elected by our national member organizations (NMOs). I value their trust and I look forward to improving bleeding disorder care worldwide.
What is the main impact you hope the WFH will have in the future?
I think it is critical that we improve the lives of patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders around the globe. Care has improved through donated products—which have been of great value—but we also need to look at how we can use available resources and innovations in care to think of new ways of approaching treatment. We need to work to be sure patients are diagnosed correctly and we need to efficiently implement new care measures.
What do you think is one area where the WFH could improve?
I think I need to know the organization better as a board member in order to answer this question. I plan on doing a lot of listening as I begin my board term in order to make informed decisions.
What is your personal involvement in the bleeding disorders community in your country or region?
I have been a provider of hemophilia care since 1986. I chose a career in the care of patients with bleeding disorders because I was intrigued by the science of coagulation and thoroughly enjoy the ongoing patient-provider partnership that is possible when providing care for patients with inherited diseases like hemophilia. I have also led special coagulation laboratories and research programs in bleeding disorders. I currently see patients with bleeding disorders in the Washington Center for Bleeding Disorders, direct a special coagulation laboratory, and I lead a research program dedicated to improving the care of patients with inherited bleeding disorders.
If you had $1 million to donate to the bleeding disorders community, where would you like to see your donation go?
I would want it to go to improve care around the world. Of course, I would want to be more educated on how the dollars could be most effectively spent before deciding on specifics!
To read about how other WFH leaders answered these questions, please click here.